MAGAZINE NEW DELHI DECEMBER 18 2016 SUNDAY PAGES 12 THINK Ram Sampath and Sona Mohapatra FEEL ENGAGE READ WATCH Nirali Kartik and Kartik Shah “Some instruments are so rare that they are in danger of being endangered. Our formula is that we have no formula, we are open to anything.” The score for the upcoming movie Raees brings to the fore a breed of home-grown artists who are Indianising Western music, crossing boundaries of interludes in the global mosh pit by Sunita Raghu B ritish singer Adele’s Hello from her 2015 album 25 created a flutter when its haunting piano interlude was replaced by sounds of the flute, tanpura and nadaswaram. Hello had gone Carnatic, and Adele had become Adeleshwari. Mahesh Raghvan, creator of this unlikely fusion, meted out the same for the theme song of Game of Thrones. Recorded a Carnatic adaptation of Adele’s Skyfall. Is working on Sanskritised version of Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven new verse in Hindi, re-arranged the rhythms of the song and introduced a sargam in the solo. The band loved our version,” says Ram, who has just completed the score for the upcoming Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Raees. The idea is not new. Way back in the 60s, sitarist Pandit Ravi Shankar taught and inspired The Beatles’ George Harrison to play the sitar in Norwegian Wood. Ravi Shankar also collaborated with violinist Yehudi Menuhin, besides participating in the Woodstock festival in 1969, which took Indian music onto the global stage. With the Internet shrinking the world and piggybacking on technology music has no , “I had adapted a boundaries. Be it German parody of western instruments taking wedding vows, precedence in a ‘Du Hast’ (you have), folk song or a peppered with thumri, or the ‘nein’ (no) into sitar and the tabla Turn to page 2 Krish Ashok Sanskrit.” SUNISH SURENDRAN Fifth-generation sitarist who created the zitar, an electric sitar RAJNEESH LONDHE BELIEVE Rock ‘n’ Raga “While working on our version of Afterglow, we wrote a whole new verse in Hindi, re-arranged the rhythms of the song and introduced a sargam in the solo.” Previously Chennai-based , musician Krish Ashok—using the Raga Keeravani—had attempted a Carnatic adaptation and improvisation of Adele’s Skyfall from the James Bond movie soundtrack. Western music is getting an Indian classical flavour and listeners are wired right into it. Composer Ram Sampath and his singer wife Sona Mohapatra did an interesting musical collaboration and blended varying genres of music on MTV Coke Studio. They are the few who have taken fusion across new boundaries. Ram says he has always had a soft spot for music that fuses cultures, even if it doesn’t fall into the fusion genre, like what The Beatles did in their 1965 masterpiece, Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown). Many years ago, Ram had attempted a fusion track with Australian rock band INXS. “While working on our version of their song Afterglow, I tried to interpret its emotion from an urban Indian perspective, so we wrote a whole FLAUNT Members of the fusion band Maati Baani Composed music for Raees, blended musical genres on MTV’s Coke Studio and made a fusion track of INXS’ Afterglow EXPERIENCE “The need to communicate sound or voice of a musician through an established tune has been done for decades. It’s not a recent trend.” Niladri Kumar
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